This article discusses the narrative delivery of the Fallout: New Vegas DLC, Honest Hearts. As such, certain spoilers cannot be avoided - read at your own risk.
In the past few years, the gaming industry has developed a new model of business, based on offering additional content for their released products for a (usually) nominal fee - downloadable content, or DLC. These often fall in one or more of the following categories:
* Level additions, such as map packs or game world extensions.
* Tool additions, such as weapon packs or unit roster extensions.
* Mechanics updates, such as increased level caps or additional skills.
* Narrative extensions, such as additional quests or "after-the-finale" scenarios.
|Honest Hearts, Fallout: New Vegas'|
(chronologically) second DLC...
Honest Hearts - a DLC that's arguably the weakest of the three released so far in terms of its' narrative delivery, mainly due to the mishandling of the character of Joshua Graham, a.k.a. the Burned Man. During New Vegas' main game, encounters with Caesar's Legion (a tribal-originated horde following the militant aspects of ancient Roman culture) yield the legend of the Burned Man: Caesar's right hand man, burned alive and thrown into the Grand Canyon as a punishment for his (single, as far as the game lets on) failure - his very name forbidden to be spoken.
|...features one of the least interesting|
main characters in the game.
|Bland, two-dimensional characters|
that serve only as quest fodder.
The problems begin to appear here, however, as the actual Joshua Graham the player meets in-game doesn't quite live up to the hype the main game perpetuates; where there is an opportunity to present him as either repentant or unyielding, he instead comes across as being bitter and vengeful - a missed opportunity for certain, accentuated by the relatively little screen time he receives - as a result he comes across as a bland, two-dimensional character with little depth or redeeming values.
|Even the tribal characters appear to|
be nearly devoid of personality.
|The most engrossing aspects of the|
plot belong to Randall Clark...
|...an unseen character that has left|
behind several journal entries.
Ultimately, it's interesting to note the dynamics brought about by this scenario, where secondary, "flavour" characters end up being vastly more interesting than the main characters - if only as a consideration in future development of narrative-heavy content.